Friday, 7 May 2010

I cut my patch visit short this afternoon. Just a couple of minutes into my walk, I came into the small Holding area to find disaster. A work crew were ''Cleaning'' the area up for the landowner, the old fruit trees were stripped of the dead wood, the oaks had thier canopies raised, deseased trees were removed, and a raging bonfire signalled that one of the last remnants of real habitat on my patch was being lost - all in the middle of the bird breeding season. Needless to say i was gutted to see this. I was given assurances that the whole area was checked for nesting birds, and (strangely?) none were found.

I know the landowner, and the farmer who was hired to do the work well, and I spent some time trying to put my conservation point of view across to them, but they grew ever more impatient and the attitude was ''its my land and i'll do as I wish''

It now seems not only has a nice piece of habitat been lost, but also the goodwill of the farmer and the landowner towards me. Not that the latter means much to me.

Seeing all the habitat loss, and hearing their lame excuses for doing it, such as 'oh it will all grow back' and ''it looked so untidy'' filled me full of sadness, they just didn't understand what I was trying to say to them. I lost the focus of my walk today, and came home early, hopefully the disappointment will wear off and i can resume my enthusiasm for my patch again. In the meantime, i'm filled with thoughts of moving house, and getting away from small minded people, maybe go to an isolated piece of coast!

PS just one piece of bird news, rather irrelevant now, a CORMORANT (60) flew over as I walked to work this morning, the 60th species for the month.


gypsyrose said...

So Sorry Warren what an awful thing to happen, I know how much your patch means to you, shame other people just don't understand,
don't know what else to say
take care

Phil said...

Bad news indeed Warren. Hopefully you will see it with slightly more optimistic eyes soon.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Don't know what to say .
You must be gutted .
Reminded me of the idiot down the road topping conifers , in the nesting season , with Collared Doves and Woodpigeons going crazy .

Derek Faulkner said...


I can imagine how you feel but unfortunately its part of living in the modern day countryside these days and you've only got to look at the exchanges on the Forum the last few days re. The South Swale NR to realise that even reserve managements are capable of the similar destruction. Unfortunately moving away is unlikely to solve the problem long term, you could move to some remote Scottish Island and still end up with a wind farm outside your door. Sad as it sounds, at 62 I just feel glad that at least I've enjoyed many years of how it used to be and will be gone before having to witness the final death throes of the countryside as we've always known it. Chin up mate, at least there's your garden.

Pete Woodruff said...

Sad story Warren and I think all your contributors will understand your feelings. Obviously not the time of year to be 'tidying up the landscape' your own land or not, but you seemed convinced there were no breeding birds in the area in question and thank goodness for that.

Have a good nights sleep and start the new day with a new view....easier said than done I know but there are no alternatives are there.

ShySongbird said...

Oh Warren! Your gutted and I'm gutted for you, how very, very sad. Why are these people so short sighted, not to mention narrow minded? No wonder so many of our birds are on the endangered species list.

So much of the countryside which I loved so much around here has been built on in the last few years and it is heartbreaking to see it gradually eaten away.

I noticed recently on the website of a small local lake which we visit regularly that people had been complaining about fallen trees being left and about the edges of the lake being overgrown. Thankfully the committee of volunteers that look after it made it completely clear that everything there is geared towards conserving and encouraging Nature.

I don't know what else to say, Warren, it has always been so obvious how much you love your patch and I feel awful on your behalf. Maybe things won't look quite so bad tomorrow (she says feebly).

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Why do the great unwashed think that tidy = good, dead = bad..we're long over due for a new philosophy.
Can't believe they had a bonfire, wots wrong with habitat piles...oh of course they're untidy!!!

Chin;ve already done more than most with your TPO struggle. Things won't seem so bad tomorrow...we hope



Dean said...

I agree with Dave, untidy is good. The wild habitat should just be that, "wild" and not manicured.

Kerry said...

Living near an isolated coast I can tell you that you will sadly meet the same mentality. :-( I have seen so much habitat destroyed by people who should know better. They all think that I am mad round here because I have fenced off areas all around my land and left it to nature: where once is was barren grassland, now it is thriving with nesting birds, voles, shrews, saplings, etc. All around me farmers are striving to use every single tiny patch of land. Only last year I saw a patch of land destroyed by a neighbouring farmer. It will probably take him ten to fifteen years to get back the money it cost to fence it off,clear it, plough it and seed it. So very, very depressing.

Jann said...

Warren, I am so terribly sorry for such a blow, but impressed that you made an effort to save the birds' habitat. The older I get, the more I want to live isolated from idiot neighbors but cannot afford acreage...anyway, I hope that you won't let this ruin your enjoyment of your patch. Hugs.